Labour has called on Alun Cairns to apologise and stand down as a candidate following his resignation from the cabinet over claims he knew about a former aide sabotaging a rape trial.
Christina Rees, Shadow Secretary of State for Wales, said: “Alun Cairns stepping down as Secretary of State is far from the end of the matter, and is a shoddy halfway house that will fool nobody.
“He has still not explained his behaviour and still not addressed the grave issues raised by the leaked emails yesterday. Worse still, neither he nor any senior Welsh Tory have apologised to one person who most deserves it – the victim herself.”
Labour’s shadow cabinet spokesperson for Wales concluded that Cairns “should do the right thing”, which she said would be to “apologise, and step down as a candidate”.
Cairns represents the Welsh constituency Vale of Glamorgan, which has been described as a bellwether. In 2017, the Tory MP was elected with a narrow majority of just 2,190 votes.
Belinda Loveluck-Edwards has been selected as Labour’s candidate in the marginal seat. Commenting on the story on Tuesday, she tweeted: “The BBC have evidence that Cairns knew about Ross England’s involvement in the trial.
“This is now an issue of trust as much as a question of human decency. He must explain immediately and if it’s true, resign.”
Cairns sent a letter of resignation to Boris Johnson today, saying he was confident that he would be cleared of any wrongdoing but was quitting his cabinet post as it was a “sensitive matter”.
The cabinet minister had claimed to be unaware of Ross England’s alleged role in the trial before it became public, but the BBC published an email apparently showing this was not the case.